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The Creator, the Dark One, and the Dragon


FarShainMael
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After a long discussion on another board, something occurred to me.

 

I've mentioned elsewhere that I'm a bit unsure about the idea or balance between a Creator and a Destroyer, if both are omnipotent. Anything the Creator makes, the Dark One surely destroys at once; the Creator makes it again; and so on. What we have must be a system which both exists and does not exist, simultaneously.

 

Impossible? Not necessarily; just ask Schrödinger's cat.

 

Now I believe there are a couple of ensigns on Deck 39 who know nothing about the said moggy; but in case one of them has wandered up here in search of a stiff prune juice, I shall expound.

 

Schrödinger, and many of his contemporaries, were not happy with this new-fangled quantum stuff, feeling that it led to ridiculous results. To illustrate this, he told the story of a cat in a box. Inside this box there was a small phial of poison gas, a single radioactive atom, and a mechanism which would detect the decay of this atom, smash the phial, and kill the cat. The point is that although it is possible to say that, out or a very large number of radioactive atoms (say a gram or so of americium, used in smoke detectors), after a period of time a certain number of these would have decayed. For americium 241, after about 432 years half of them would have gone. But we cannot predict exactly when any specific atom will decay. That is completely random.

 

So, said Schrödinger, we can't know whether the cat inside the box is alive or dead; it could be either. Quantum theory says that it's both alive and dead at once. When the experimenter opens the box and observes the cat, this indeterminate state is collapsed into a determinate state of either aliveness or deadness.

 

(Top up that man's prune juice please, he's looking glassy-eyed!)

 

(Actually, Schrödinger missed the point that it's actually the detector mechanism inside the box which observes the decay, but that's by-the-way.)

 

So perhaps we get out of this deadlock between existence and non-existence by having an observer; "a third constant besides the Creator and the Dark One.. a world that lies within each of these others, inside all of them at the same time. Or perhaps surrounding them." (TDR 21, Verin.)

 

For T'A'R to be the observer which breaks the deadlock it would surely have to be sentient, which I think is unlikely. However, it may have access to such a being; and the obvious candidate would be the Dragonsoul.

 

Rand's familiarity with T'A'R seems to be unique. He didn't have to be told about its existence. He knows instinctively, without being taught like Egwene, how to enter T'A'R in the flesh (TEotW51 perhaps, TDR55, TFoH55, LoC27, LoC32 perhaps, ToM30). This last instance happens during VoG, and is observed in T'A'R by Perrin in ToM30.

 

This suggests to me that there is a special relationship between Rand and T'A'R.

 

Perhaps it's the reason for the Dragon being one with the land. Perhaps it's why the DO wants to turn Rand, to break the deadlock in favour of destruction. Perhaps it's why Perrin, master of the Land of Dreams, had to be there in T'A'R at VoG, to help Rand break his own deadlock. Perhaps it's the source of the Light in Rand's brain, detected by Nynaeve. And it may indicate how the Bore is to be sealed - from T'A'R.

 

(And please tell me it's not why Rand got locked in a box (LoC51)...)

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Rand's familiarity with T'A'R seems to be unique. He didn't have to be told about its existence.

 

He's a Dreamwalker like Egwene. So is Perrin as a side-effect of being a Wolfbrother.

 

He knows instinctively, without being taught like Egwene, how to enter T'A'R in the flesh (TEotW51 perhaps, TDR55, TFoH55, LoC27, LoC32 perhaps, ToM30).

 

Egwene was never taught how to enter TAR in the flesh. She figured it out on her own. However, the difference between her puzzling it out and Rand doing it instinctively is still noticeable. And to that I say that you're latching onto one instance where Rand uses a weave instinctively out of countless instances. Especially considering that all of the cases wherein Rand entered TAR in the flesh were while he was chasing someone. Rand can read residues.

 

For instance, in the battle against Rahvin, the Chosen fled into TAR and Rand followed by copying his weave. In the final battle against Ba'alzamon, Rand copied the "strange twisting of reality" to enter TAR. And so on.

 

Regardless, I reiterate the idea that it's not inconceivable considering all of the other weaves Rand uses instinctively (due to his knowledge passed down from Lews Therin) that his knowledge of entering TAR in the flesh is merely another instance of that knowledge coming from Lews Therin.

 

This last instance happens during VoG, and is observed in T'A'R by Perrin in ToM30.

 

TAR is merely a reflection of the Pattern. Certain things from reality can reflect in TAR, and momentously important events like Rand potentially destroying the world, reflect even more strongly since they are of utmost importance to the Pattern. The sky itself which is due to the Great Lord's touch on the world has reflected into TAR. Likewise, Rand's ascendence in "Veins of Gold" was reflected.

 

This suggests to me that there is a special relationship between Rand and T'A'R.

 

There's a special relationship between Rand and the Pattern. TAR is just a reflection of the Pattern.

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Rand's familiarity with T'A'R seems to be unique. He didn't have to be told about its existence.

 

He's a Dreamwalker like Egwene. So is Perrin as a side-effect of being a Wolfbrother.

 

 

This suggests to me that there is a special relationship between Rand and T'A'R.

 

There's a special relationship between Rand and the Pattern. TAR is just a reflection of the Pattern.

 

I don't necessarily disagree with your conclusions, however, these two points are incorrect.

 

 

 

 

 

INTERVIEW: 2011

 

Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

BRANDON SANDERSON

 

I don't normally dream things that happen to be word-for-word true prophecies. Rand's not a Dreamer. He got the info somewhere.

 

INTERVIEW: 2011

 

Twitter 2011 (WoT) (Verbatim)

BRANDON SANDERSON

 

I'm also pretty sure Rand's not a Dreamer, though he does have uncommon power over his dreams.

BRANDON SANDERSON

 

But he does not see specific prophecies in his dreams (other than a few debatable moments) nor enter

Tel'aran'rhiod

spontaneously.

 

Now, admittedly, Dreamwalking and Dreaming are different things, but as per my bold text, he cannot enter TAR like Dreamwalkers. He has to enter in the flesh.

 

The second point, with regards to his connection to TAR, you are probably right, it is a reflection of his power in the pattern, however, this does not mean he doesn't have a special relationship with TAR, as pointed out in bold, he has an "uncommon power over his dreams." Thus supporting FSM claim that he has a special relationship with it.

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FSM, Rand did Skim somewhere at the end of TEotW, but what makes you certain it was TAR? The crazy sky suggest a proximity to SG to me, and as to that place being the same he saw in his Ba'alzamon dreams, well, Brandon said that Ishamael was most likely shaping the dreams of the three ta'veren from that starry space, therefore it never was TAR (or rather, the ones in that weird room with skulls for walls weren't; Rand did suffer real wounds in one dream, so that was TAR, or at least some mix of SG with a dream).

 

Other than that, the Forsaken showed him the way to enter TAR in the flesh, and other than at the Stone (where he followed Ishi, and we have to keep in mind that he was holding Callandor at the time, and the more of the OP one holds the easier it is to learn new weaves), he only did it after learning to Travel. I don't think it could be said that Rand has any specific link to TAR, other than his strong will, of course.

 

On a side note, Egwene came to Rand for ideas about Traveling, but she already had the female method in mind (she said, making a 'likeness' between two places, or some such). What he told her of the male method made no sense to her, and good thing she didn't try it with saidar.

 

EDIT: Oh, yeah. What the heck is Deck 39?

Edited by yoniy0
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Hmmm...I've always felt the Dark Champion and the Dragon are essentially neutral forces that push the equally neutral Wheel. The Wheel, in turn, controls whether or not the Dark One or the Creator (or both) can affect the world (worlds) in any which way they desire. Once someone dies that is connected to the Wheel (ta'veren/Heroes/Dark Champion[maybe Dark Heroes?]), they wait in T'A'R which I believe to be a more tangible aspect of the Wheel's influence/Pattern Lace-reflection). Just my interpretation...

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Rand was first drawn into TAR by baalzamon at the very beginning of EotW, then he followed forsaken and traveled into TAR to fight them. he has no real relationship to TAR

 

This is very true, however, we must take into account he is integrated with Lews Therin now. Not all of Lews Therin's knowledge and talents were available to Rand from the beginning, he did have unconcious access to a few, however, that does not mean that, because it did not manifest unconciously, like the others, that it doesn't exist. Example being his ability to directly affect the world and nature (the decay and later, growth of nature whenever he is around), it was a power that he developed later on.

 

So, I see no reason why, as of ToM, Rand could not have developed a special connection to TAR as he has done with the Land itself. I am thinking that since he has fully realised his role and has "become one with the land" he has manifested some kind of special affinity towards TAR. Something is certainly unusual in the epiclogue of ToM, Rand is not in a dream, nor is he dreamwalking (by his reckoning), so that's something at least.

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@yoniy0:

 

Re TEotW; I'm not certain it was T'A'R - that's why I said 'TEotW51 perhaps'. I'll read that bit again, more slowly.

 

Deck 39 is on the USS Enterprise NCC1701-D. The reference comes up in an episode whose name escapes me, but they're trying to get Captain Picard to take a holiday. Eventually he says to Riker: 'Does everyone know about this plot to get me to take leave?' And Riker grins and says 'I believe there are a couple of ensigns on Deck 39 who know nothing about it.'

 

Much later.....

 

ETA:

This is what happened at the end of TEotW:

 

The group is outside the cave... Moiraine attacks Aginor with fire. He walks out of the fire, and pursues Rand. (CH50).

 

Ch51: Rand runs from the Forsaken. He stops before a sheer drop, and battles Aginor, drawing strength (and apparently saidin ) from the Eye. He destroys Aginor. This is still the waking world.

 

Then he moves to what turns out to be Tarwin's Gap, where the battle between the Borderland armies and the Trollocs is raging.

 

Question: How did he do this? Rand hasn't been shown how to move from one place to another instantaneously, how to make a Gateway.

 

He wants to end the battle. Ba'alzamon is nowhere to be seen; but there is that VOICE..

 

..IT IS NOT HERE.

 

The smoke clears around Rand, showing a dome of clear air, and steps rising into the 'murk that obscured the sun'.

 

Question: What are these steps? Who brought them into being? If it was Ba'alzy, why, instead of going down into Tarwin's Gap himself and fighting Rand there, assisted by all those Trollocs? If it was Rand, how? Who else might it have been?

 

Next: Rand climbs the steps, entering blackness, the 'utter blackness of total nothingness'.

 

Question: Was this Skim-space? Rand hadn't yet learned / been shown how to do this, I think.

 

He sees the cord of Light. He runs up the steps to a 'well-remembered' door, into a room he knows, the room of his dreams. He fights and defeats Ba'alzamon. At the end he is thrown out of the room, out of that realm, back to the waking world (Ch 52).

 

Question: Where was that room, the room of his dreams, his nightmares?

 

The streaky sky indicates Shayol Ghul, certainly; but we know that you can't reach T'A'R from SG, or from the Blight generally. But Tarwin's Gap isn't quite in the Blight. so if it wasn't in T'A'R, where was it?

 

Perhaps it was a nightmare, within T'A'R. Perhaps the sky was part of that nightmare.

Edited by FarShainMael
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Interesting thoughts... I had never really thought about Rand as having a special relationship with T'A'R... but it does make a certain amount of sense... We are told repeatedly that entering in the flesh is an EVIL thing, and in fact, outside of Egwene entering it the once before she had discovered Travelling, Rand is the only Lightside character to do it repeatedly without any seemingly evil effects. It could be there were bad effects and we haven't been told they were caused by entering in the flesh, or it could be that he does have this special relationship, and so him entering in the flesh is NOT an evil thing, but a NATURAL thing, and maybe even necessary.

Edited by DaoineSidhe
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We are also told this by the Hopper to Perrin in tSR after Perrin first encounters Slayer. That Slayer enters in the flesh, and that it is something evil.

 

edit: hrm... after quickly re-reading that section I'm not so sure myself anymore... it in the "Tower of Ghenji" chapter.

Edited by DaoineSidhe
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Pretty sure only the Wise Ones say that this is evil. Perrin mentions Luc/Isam is evil, but I do not believe it was in reference to him entering TAR in the flesh as such. I think it was more the WAY that he did it. With the whole 2 souls thing, switching in and out of TAR, rather than just entering in the flesh as a "normal" person would do.

 

I am uncertain as to whether I believe the Wise Ones. They certainly are the only authority (other than the Forsaken, who consider mass murder a norm, so I can hardly see them thinking it as "evil". ) But the Wise Ones always annoyed me with their dreaming. They don't really know that much, as they don't TRY to learn much. I see it as a social comment rather than literal. They are like Dark-age people. Anything new and "unnatural" was evil, they are pretty set in their ways, even if the WO's are the most adaptable, they still have very strong tradition.

 

Probably a few of them messed up walking in the Flesh, and from that point on, it has been denounced as evil.

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they just "remember" what it was used for once i think. Its not evil in itself but the people who did it were evil.

 

 

Oh one thing, both Egwene and Perrin have crossed paths with Rand in TAR in the early books before he could travel consciously, so he may have dreamed himself there on his own. Unless the forsaken drag him in there and leave him alone for a while when perrin and egwene happen to come across him. I think likely he can dream himself into TAR but the wards he uses to shield his dreams may affect his being able to enter it. Or maybe he just cant control it and it was just something that used to happen to him for a while.

Edited by rand4747
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I don't necessarily disagree with your conclusions, however, these two points are incorrect.

 

Now, admittedly, Dreamwalking and Dreaming are different things, but as per my bold text, he cannot enter TAR like Dreamwalkers. He has to enter in the flesh.

 

In the quote you provided from Brandon, he was unsure. You admit that Dreaming and Dreamwalking at different, and I agree. He's not a Dreamer. He's a Dreamwalker. A quote from immediately after your quotes:

 

But I'll look into it. I rebel against it because Dreaming is basically Egwene's thing.

 

He's confusing Dreaming and Dreamwalking. He's also unsure, and he's taking the fan way out and saying that it's Egwene's thing, so Rand couldn't do it.

 

[...] he has an "uncommon power over his dreams." Thus supporting FSM claim that he has a special relationship with it.

 

Not really. Any person who has spent significant time in the World of Dreams has uncommon power over their dreams and things related to TAR (see Nynaeve's testing for the shawl).

 

@roxinos: Egwene didn't figure it out on her own exactly; she'd had a long talk with Rand first, to find out how he did it (LoC27, and she worked out a method from that (LoC33). Rand needed no such prompting.

 

And that fact does not really disagree with what I said. "Regardless, I reiterate the idea that it's not inconceivable considering all of the other weaves Rand uses instinctively (due to his knowledge passed down from Lews Therin) that his knowledge of entering TAR in the flesh is merely another instance of that knowledge coming from Lews Therin."

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Here's the way i see it, expanding on what you said. T'A'R is the glue that bridges the gap between a world of creation, and a world of destruction. Think of it as two ideas, two things, that can only exist if they are considered relative to something else. what is hot if there is no cold? up without down? What is creation if there's no such thing as destruction? If you have a world purely of creation, then all there was, would be all there is, and all there would ever be, and there would be no way to compare that world to anything else, and therefore it could be said to not exist. T'A'R takes both ideas of creation and destruction, and brings them together in a world that is both being created, and being destroyed, at the same time, like Schrodingers cat. In this way, the world of creation can be compared to the world of destruction, and can therefore be seen as existing, because it is possible to compare it to something not existing.

 

To put it another way, consider two interfering wave patterns. One represents the pattern, one the anti-pattern. If you have only one wave, and nothing else, that wave cannot expand, or move, because there is nothing for it to move relative to. Once you introduce the second wave pattern, suddenly the two are allowed to move, because there is something that can be used to gauge where the other is in "space". The space then taken up by the two wave patterns is what becomes all that is, or T'A'R. The two patterns would interfere with each other. Cancelling each other out in some places, but reinforcing in others. And this could give rise to portal worlds, the land of the finns, and other stuff too probably. It could surely produce the strange effects noticed in T'A'R.

 

Rand, the name given to the dragonsoul in this age, could be the mechanism of the pattern (the Creator) used to balance out the destruction, with creation. Ishy is possibly the mechanism of the DO, one could call the "anti-pattern," to balance out the creation, with destruction. T'A'R is what allows both creation and destruction (The Creator and The DO) to exist, because through T'A'R they are able to compare themselves to each other, and therefore know themselves to be existing. I don't know if i would consider Rand a tool of T'A'R though, but he would definitely play a role in keeping T'A'R together, and could very possibly be tied to it in a way we dont understand. But if that was the case, i think ishy would be tied to it in the same way.

Edited by Tamyrlin1
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Hi Tamyrlin1!

 

That's more or less what I had in mind, certainly. Not sure about Ishy's involvement though.

 

Questions arising are:

 

what evidence is there supporting this notion? I've tried to assemble some.

 

what does it suggest about TG?

Edited by FarShainMael
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hey! was glad to see you put up your theory, it had been a week or so since i'd been on the boards and i didnt even realize this topic was by you at first.

 

Well evidence is tough to come by for a subject that isn't really talked about in the series. But we can start with how T'A'R behaves. The world percieved by humans in T'A'R is never the same. It changes constantly, reflecting potentially different worlds, different times, etc. This ambiguity would be the result of the act of both creation, and destruction. In order for T'A'R to "exist" and "not exist" everything in the world must be able to be seen, and not seen at the same time. For humans, this is difficult to percieve, there is no way for us to intuitively understand something as both existing and not existing, so we choose the only idea that we know, which is existance. the existance we percieve is ambiguous, its neither here nor there, because T'A'R doesnt know what to tell our brain.

 

The strange glow that is everywhere in T'A'R could be the result of light that is both existing, and not existing at the same time.

 

In VoG, we see potentially the climax of both existance and non-existance. On one hand, there is destruction, the darkness swirling around rand, the clouds, the ferocity. On the other hand, there is the light within Rand. The light that was always there, and was manifested, possibly by T'A'R to help Rand see that there was more than just destruction, to balance it with creation. This idea of creation was manifested in Rand's mind as Love, and seen by Nynaeve as the light.

 

In the material world, the world of existance, everything is solid. Think of it as the center of the wave pattern, the area where the least amount of the destruction wave pattern interferes with the creation pattern. As TG approaches, and the "anti-pattern" begins to take over the pattern, the "bubbles of evil" appear more often, and are more intense, because more of the "destruction" wave pattern cancels out the "creation" pattern. It would be interesting if we knew how a bubble of evil manifested itself in the world of dreams. But with Zen Rand walking the world, he is able to balance it out in the other direction, allowing "creation" wherever he goes.

Edited by Tamyrlin1
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If a 'cancelling out' between creation and destruction is happening, or trying to happen, we should begin to see regions where there is nothing at all.. or close to it. The closest we've seen to that is that area in Tear, which had turned to dust (ToM15). Interesting, that - especially considering what Rand says to Nynaeve about it:

 

"What happened here today? The buildings turned to dust?"

 

"Yes," Nynaeve said. "Their substance was removed. Everything crumbled the moment we touched it."

 

"He would do this to the entire world," Rand said, his voice growing soft. "He stirs."

 

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If a 'cancelling out' between creation and destruction is happening, or trying to happen, we should begin to see regions where there is nothing at all.. or close to it. The closest we've seen to that is that area in Tear, which had turned to dust (ToM15). Interesting, that - especially considering what Rand says to Nynaeve about it:

 

"What happened here today? The buildings turned to dust?"

 

"Yes," Nynaeve said. "Their substance was removed. Everything crumbled the moment we touched it."

 

"He would do this to the entire world," Rand said, his voice growing soft. "He stirs."

 

Yes, that is a perfect example of what im talking about. The difference is that the world will never be truly destroyed, we wont know how much destruction there will be until aMoL is released. This sort of overlaps into the other worlds theories that we discussed in the other post. I think that the majority of the "destruction" would be evident in the other realities, other possibilities. In the one true and continuing timeline there would be very little of it. Consider the current WoT series to be the epitomy of the creation wave-pattern, it is the timeline required to allow for creation to continue existing, and always to exist, and it is therefore logical that it would be destroyed the least.

 

Another area that the "cancelling out" can be observed is potentially at SG where the pattern is said to be "thin".

 

Balefire is another example. It could be said that balefire is pure destruction. So when pure destruction meets pure creation, the two no longer exist, the balefire disappears as does whatever it touches. All i can think of that disputes this is the fact that Balefire can be created by the True Source (considered at this point to be the source of creation) as well as the True Power. I guess it could also be argued that the True Source is still creating the balefire whether or not the balefire destroys instead of creates.

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Remember that balefire is a weave (albeit a destructive one!), not a distinct power. The OP is neutral; it can be put to positive or negative uses. Balefire is detructive, but it has positive uses in destroying Shadowspawn, and in removing the Chosen from the DO's reach. Not sure if that's also true of the TP..

 

Yes, Rand wove balefire from the TP to free himself from the dom band, and Moridin did as well when he and Rand met in SL (ACoS41). And that was interesting.. we have balefire from the OP meeting that from the TP. Was Moridin trying to 'cancel out' Rand? If so, he failed, and linked instead!

Edited by FarShainMael
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haha, yea that does make for quite the paradox. I dont really know what to make of it, we dont even know for sure that is truly a "link" at this point do we? I mean, there's plenty of evidence, but it's all still speculation as far as i know. January can't come soon enough to help clear that up...

 

but as far as the OP and TP are concerned, i guess they just need to be left as energy sources, and not the sources of creation or destruction. Then energy is allowed to be used for either creation, or destruction, depending on what the wielder prefers.

 

Balefire is detructive, but it has positive uses in destroying Shadowspawn, and in removing the Chosen from the DO's reach. Not sure if that's also true of the TP..

 

by this are you asking what would happen if the TP was used on shadowspawn? cuz that is something interesting to wonder about, it hasnt been seen in the series as far as i can remember. i think it would just have the same effect that it would have if used on anything else, for the same reason that the OP can be used for destruction. The only difference I can see is that the DO could restrict your use of the TP if he didnt like what you were doing with it.

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No, I was wondering if there could be 'positive uses' for the TP. Prob not - as you say, the DO would cut the user off if they tried it!

 

There does indeed seem to be a link between Rand and Moridin.. though what kind of link it was, we don't know. Was it a two person circle? Normally with the OP, you can't have a men-only circle AIUI, but using the TP would change the linking 'rules', I'm sure.

 

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haha, yea that does make for quite the paradox. I dont really know what to make of it, we dont even know for sure that is truly a "link" at this point do we? I mean, there's plenty of evidence, but it's all still speculation as far as i know. January can't come soon enough to help clear that up...

 

You know, you may just have something here. I found this quote when I was looking it up because of this comment.

 

INTERVIEW: Nov 21st, 2009

TGS Signing Report - Frenzy (Paraphrased)

 

 

BRANDON SANDERSON

Biggest story-related bombshell (IMHO): Don't assume Rand and Moridin are linked

.

 

Personally, I think that they are linked, and this is just something to keep people guessing, but interesting anyway.

 

IT seems in later interviews he is answering questions as if the link were a fact, so it may just be an early comment, then when it became too obvious, he just went with it

Edited by Barid Bel Medar
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